September 1974. Trudeau was in power. The U.S. was mired in the atrocity of Vietnam. A month earlier, Nixon became the first US president to resign from office, following Watergate. Miami had won the Super Bowl and Hank Aaron bettered Babe Ruth's record with homer #715. Kristine Hanson was the playmate of the month and Farah Fawcett was the Poster Babe. The Beatles had called it quits four years before, after the release of Abbey Road, and the Rolling Stones were riding high with "It's Only Rock' N Roll." Pink Floyd had released "Dark Side of the Moon" and Canada had established hockey supremacy with their victory against Russia in 1972. There were no personal computers, fax machines or cell phones. Tube amps were still popular among rock guitarists, as was long hair.
Mona's Boys had its genesis in H Section of Champlain College, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
John Cox met Pete Culverhouse in that September of 1974. The boys quickly discovered that they had a common passion of rock music, girls, and hockey. Together with Geoff Snow, James Haldenby and Andrew Peacock they formed a band and went on to write and record dozens of songs on cassette, 8-track, and even "reel to reel" in the Trent Studios.
That fall, several of us were greatly impressed by a pretty, first-year coed from western Canada. One night in late September, 1974, our residence building vibrated to moans of female passion that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. The next day, rumours immediately circulated that the sounds had emanated from this particular coed - earning her the nickname "Mona." Never mind that it was later confirmed to be a case of mistaken identity - she had already been anointed and the name endured. The shaggy collection of band members who pursued Mona (unsuccessfully) during her three year tenure at Trent University quickly adopted the name "Mona's Boys."
Mona's Boys wrote and recorded dozens of songs in residence using microphones taped to rulers connected to cassette and 8-track machines. Mona's Boys went into the Trent University Music Studios and recorded a full album in 1975. Following radio airplay, the original studio tapes mysteriously "disappeared" and have never been recovered.
Mona's Boys were not the most popular amongst faculty and Trent intellectuals given that many of the songs criticized and questioned the establishment.
In the Fall of 1976, John Cox, Peter Culverhouse and James Haldenby moved onto "Mona's Boys Farm," just outside of Peterborough, and continued to write, record, and perform. The band moved to Toronto for two years following University. In 1980 John moved out west where he played in a band "Willful Blindness" for four years. In the meantime, Pete Culverhouse remained in Toronto and played for a rock and roll band "Flashback."
James Haldenby retired from rock and roll and went on to become the CEO of a major construction company in southern Ontario. Andrew Peacock went on to practice veterinary medicine and moved to Newfoundland. Goeff Snow ultimately moved to Waterford where he still teaches classical piano. Geoff played piano on Fantasy in the classical/rock piece
In 1986 when John moved back from Alberta, he reunited with Pete Culverhouse and together with John's brother Pete Cox, Eric Jonasson, and a couple of different lead guitar players, Mona's Boys was reborn.
Mona's Boys wrote and recorded a CD in 2001 entitled "Fantasy." Pete Culverhouse retired from rock and roll in 2002 and moved to Montreal.
Mona's Boys today
Currently the band consists of:
Mona's Boys never achieved "rock stardom." They never intended to. Mona's Boys is one of the longest enduring rock bands and their mandate has always been to perform great rock music and to have fun.
- John Cox - vocals and rhythm guitar
- Eric Jonasson - backup vocals and keyboards
- Darren Kral - lead guitar (with the band since 1997)
- Jimmy Sutcliffe - bass (with the band since 2002)
- Eric Swan - vocals, guitar, congas, cosmic streams of conciousness and storytelling (with the band since 2003)
- Mike Moore - drums (joined Mona's Boys in March, 2007)
Mona's Boys currently rehearse and record at Church Street Studios in Oakville.